The Bill of Rights: Understanding the Constitution and Your Freedoms

Belmont University College of Law

The Bill of Rights: Understanding the Constitution and Your Freedoms

Belmont University College of Law

Audio Sample:

From free speech to fair trials, many of your rights as an American are guaranteed by the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Known as the Bill of Rights, this enduring document—along with its interpretation—continues to inspire debate and shape our lives.

But if you’re like most Americans, you haven’t had a chance to explore the Constitution and its fascinating history since you were a teenager. Now, The Bill of Rights: Understanding the Constitution and Your Freedoms offers you an engaging and accessible refresher led by

Audio Sample:

From free speech to fair trials, many of your rights as an American are guaranteed by the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Known as the Bill of Rights, this enduring document—along with its interpretation—continues to inspire debate and shape our lives.

But if you’re like most Americans, you haven’t had a chance to explore the Constitution and its fascinating history since you were a teenager. Now, The Bill of Rights: Understanding the Constitution and Your Freedoms offers you an engaging and accessible refresher led by a legal scholar and expert on the Bill of Rights.

Under the guidance of award-winning Professor David L. Hudson, Jr., you’ll begin by examining the historic development of the Bill of Rights. Then you’ll turn your attention to the freedoms found in its pages. Throughout the course, Prof. Hudson uses contemporary examples to help you grasp the meaning and implications of your individual liberties.

In 19 lectures, you’ll explore the deeper meaning of those liberties. Some of the most famous include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to keep and bear arms. Others you may be less familiar with include freedom of assembly, freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances, freedom from double jeopardy, and the right to a grand jury.

Don’t just know your rights. For an enjoyable, memorable, and illuminating discussion of what Madison once called “the Great Rights of Mankind,” look no further.

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  • Overview and History of the Bill of Rights
  • Religious Liberty: The Establishment Clause
  • Religious Liberty, Part 2: The Free Exercise Clause
  • Free Speech, Part 1: Categories of Unprotected Speech
  • Free Speech, Part 2: Content Discrimination
  • Free Speech, Part 3: Symbolic Speech and Expressive Conduct
  • Free Speech, Part 4: Government as Educator and Employer
  • Freedom of the Press
  • Freedoms of Assembly, Petition, and Association
  • Second and Third Amendments: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Quartering of Troops
  • Fourth Amendment, Part 1: Unreasonable Searches and Seizures, Warrants, and Probable Cause
  • Fourth Amendment, Part 2: More on Warrants and the Exclusionary Rule
  • Fifth Amendment, Part 1: Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, and the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination
  • Fifth Amendment, Part 2: Due Process and Just Compensation
  • Sixth Amendment, Part 1: Speedy and Public Trial, Trial by Jury, Notice, Confrontation Clause, and Compulsory Process Clause
  • Sixth Amendment, Part 2: The Assistance of Counsel and the Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Eighth Amendment: Cruel and Unusual Punishment
  • Ninth and Tenth Amendments: Unenumerated Rights and Reservation of Rights to the States
  • Conclusion: The Importance of the Bill of Rights

David L. Hudson, Jr. is a First Amendment expert. He has authored, co-authored, or co-edited more than 40 books, including The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech (Thomson Reuters, 2012); Let the Students Speak!: A History of the Fight for Freedom of Expression in American Schools (Beacon Press, 2011), and The Encyclopedia of the First Amendment (CQ Press, 2008). Hudson is a Justice Robert H. Jackson Fellow for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and a First Amendment Fellow with the Freedom Forum Institute. A graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, he writes regularly for the ABA Journal and the American Bar Association.

Praise for David L. Hudson

“David Hudson has consulted, written, and spoken widely on free speech and related First Amendment issues to groups that have included high school teachers, news reporters, college students, and fellow professors. He is especially knowledgeable about the area of student speech. His knowledge is both deep and wide, and his presentations are well researched and engaging. His role in contributing to the Encyclopedia of the First Amendment and its online updates has been indispensable.”
– Dr. John R. Vile, Professor of Political Science and Dean of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University

“David Hudson is a true expert on the First Amendment. His knowledge of First Amendment case law and legal principles, as well as his ability to explain them to an audience regardless of its familiarity with the issues involved, makes him a perfect commentator for a program on the freedom of speech. I highly recommend listening to David’s take on this essential freedom.”
– Joe Cohn, Legislative & Policy Director Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

“David Hudson is a thoughtful and thought-provoking authority on the First Amendment, whose work reflects his deep understanding of freedom of speech and its vital role in our democracy.”
– Ken A. Paulson, Dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University and President of the First Amendment Center

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